February is National Wise Health Consumer Month and a great excuse to start taking charge of your personal wellness and health care. The purpose of Wise Health Consumer Month is to help Americans be more vigilant in vetting health care plans, physicians, procedures, and more. The observance aims to help people communicate better with their health care providers in order to make the best decisions for their health and their budget.
Americans can be very meticulous when it comes to shopping for products, but they generally exert far less effort in trying to improve the quality and reduce the cost of their health care. They often just rely on information that is provided by their employers as to which health care program they should use. And when physicians recommend expensive tests, procedures, or drugs, they often comply without asking any questions.
The following steps can help you make better decisions about your health care:
- Consider more than just premiums – Don’t just choose a health coverage plan because the premium is low. Consider co-pays, deductibles, and co-insurance as well.
- Know your benefits – Check your membership materials in order to understand what benefits you are entitled to under your insurance plan. Also check on how to order prescriptions.
- Be selective with your primary care physician – Don’t take your choice of PCPs lightly. They should be someone you trust. Once you have selected a provider, schedule an appointment right away to get to know them and relay your health concerns.
- Understand your treatment plan – If your physician prescribes medication or orders a procedure, make sure you understand the prescription instructions as well as what the procedure entails.
- Ask for generic medications – In most cases, generic drugs are a suitable substitute for brand name drugs that may be much more expensive.
- Review your medical bills – When you get a medical bill, review it carefully in order to understand how much you will pay from your own pocket after insurance deductions.
- Commit to improve your health – You have the primary responsibility for your health as only you truly know how you are feeling. Take the lead if you feel like you need to alter your exercise regimen or your diet. If you suspect a health problem, consult your physician immediately rather than putting it off.
- Pure Detox – Give your liver a break and allow it to regenerate. Cleanse your system of accumulated toxins with herbal detox drinks made from natural ingredients and essential vitamins that augment the body’s natural detoxification system.
Be a wise health consumer by knowing your rights and benefits under your insurance plan and by taking steps to improve and maintain a healthy lifestyle.